Media Months in Review – September 2014 – February 2015 – Games and Books

The intention is to post these monthly. Since I haven’t posted these in a while though, I’m going to split the last half year’s media consumption post into several parts. This one will focus on games(video games, board games, card games), and books (also manga and comics). I’ll give a paragraph or so for every show I have what to say of.

Video Games:

Diablo 3 4 Furnaces

Diablo 3 is all about the loot. Taken during patch 2.1.1, those 4 Furnaces, damn.

Diablo 3 – The big elephant in the room. I’ve spent over 800 hours on the game over the recent months. It had consumed me, at least for the first 2-3 months, where every single free moment of my time was spent on it. I barely watched anime, even. The drive for loot was strong. I’m now slowly winding down my time with it. Both because the gameplay isn’t all that good, and because I realize the only goal you play it for is to get items that make you faster at obtaining items. The “end-game” content is truly lacking, and the only thing worse than the end-game content is pre-end-game content, which just feels bad. Though the basic leveling in terms of levels feels good.

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12 Days of Anime #3 – Sword Art Online II Isn’t My Top Anime – Watching Myself Watch a Show

When the anime year of 2014 began, I made a comment that I sure hope Sword Art Online II would be my top anime for the year, with Mushishi’s second season being #2. I added a wink at the end of said comment, and partially the reason was that I knew it’d annoy the rest of the Aniblogosphere/Anitwitter crowd, but there was more than a bit of truth to it. 2013 had been an amazing strong year for anime, and had Sword Art Online’s first season ended during 2013, it’d have still made it to the top 3 of my personal list.

Sword Art Online II Anime - Death Gun

I could’ve probably used some more action in my shounen.

It’s not that Sword Art Online II was bad or disappointing in its own right, it had actual character development, it had quite a few moments where you could see a strong control of the medium by the director. I agreed with most of the decisions made by the adaptation, such as when they cut out most explanations that speak to the nerd within us all, but just take up time (a lesson Mahouka could’ve used). But while everything was fine on paper, it just didn’t click with me as strongly as the first season did.

Part of it is certainly connected to yesterday’s post, about “outgrowing shounen” shows. Continue reading

Sword Art Online II Episode 24 (Finale) – Saying Goodbye

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

Here it is, the finale to Sword Art Online’s 2nd season. Two episodes ago the drama failed me, as I thought it might, but last episode the drama I expected did get me. The material within today’s episode always gets me when I read that part of the novel, so let’s see if they manage to make it come through in the anime.

Thoughts and Notes:

Screenshot album.

1) Living in the Virtual World:

Sword Art Online II anime episode 24 notes - Asuna Yuuki, Konno Yuuki and the rest go out.

Seeing the world.

1) A relaxed barbeque isn’t so simple to organize when all the people you know are political leaders, who don’t entirely get along with one another ;-)

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Studying Sinon’s Character Reflects on Kirito’s – Sword Art Online II Episode 10

This episode seems like it was about Sinon, but it was about Kirito, and Kirito’s past. I’ve said this before the season aired, but one of the things this season does, which is not all that subtle, but it’s also not entirely spelled out, is using Sinon’s character, and her character development, to actually explore Kirito, and to retroactively explain his actions and fill him with more depth.

Sword Art Online II anime episode 10 - Sinon gives up hope

Screenshot Album.

When Kirito is talking to Sinon, he’s actually talking to his past self. “I’m fine with going there and dying on my own. I’d rather die than be weak.” You can also replace that wit “I’d rather die than be depressed”, but who does that remind you of? Why, Beater Kirito, who would fight alone, who would fight against opponents just on the threshold of too strong for him, rather than fight safely. Why? Because if he were to die, it wouldn’t inconvenience anyone else, and it’d be just him dying on his own.

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Sword Art Online II Episode 9 Notes – The Visceral Nature of Virtual Reality

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

Well, they’re actually moving pretty rapidly. I’m not sure how they’re going to fill the 24 episodes. Maybe as some people assumed, we’ll get Excalibur as well this season. What I know for sure is that there’s going to be a lot of action, and reflecting on one’s past, from here on out until the end of the GunGale Online arc, at least.

Thoughts and Notes:

Screenshot album.

1) Audience Commentary Part 1: Kirito the Blackguard:

Sword Art Online II anime episode 9 notes - Shocked Haremettes - Leafa, Asuna, Lisbeth, and Silica

1) “Knowing Kirito-san, I thought we’d see him all the time.” – They show fights, not people sitting on their asses, and Kirito isn’t one to not wade into combat, eh? But he’s here to work, not have fun. Well, I can understand the girls, they’re only watching because Kirito is playing, not like they’re invested in the game, and even when you care for the game it’s very different watching a player or a team when you’re rooting for them or against them, and when not invested at all, like watching western LCS or watching the OGN, if you don’t know any of the players (League of Legends).

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Sword Art Online II Episode 6 Notes – Berserker Trauma

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

Berserker Trauma

Sword Art Online II anime episode 6 notes - Berserker Kirito in Gun Gale Online

Ah yes, the episode that lays the thematic cards on the table, all of them.

Screenshot album.

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Sword Art Online 2 Episode 1 Notes – Everyone’s a Jerk

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

So, going to be tricky talking about this. You see, I know what’s going to happen, but I want to not only not spoil things, but also not tell you what matters later. I will say there are a couple of sentences in this episode that are foreshadowing – not to this arc, but to the next one, and to the one after that. And I… won’t tell you which sentences these are, or how they matter. I did just publish a piece on novels 5-12 focusing on themes, so broad spoilers, but no specific plot-point spoilers. You can give that a look, I guess.

Screenshot album

Production Stuff:

Sword Art Online 2 anime episode 1 notes - GunGale Online

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